Following the introduction of the iPhone 4S by Apple, the question plaguing many disappointed consumers is: When can the iPhone 5 be really expected?

The answer could be that until the 4G LTE technology is available for compact smartphones, iPhone 5 may not be launched as indicated by quite a few observers. With the availability of LTE upload, download speeds will be much faster compared to the existing 3G networks. As a result, the device may not be released until next year.

By revealing the iPhone 4S, Apple disappointed some consumers and critics who were expecting a completely re-designed device. The lack of more compact LTE chips is to be blamed for this step by Apple according to analysts. It is reported that Qualcomm is working on a chip that will be ready by the second quarter of 2012 and could be used in Apple's next handset.

The battery life of the smartphone could possibly be enhanced by making use of the new chip from Qualcomm which will be an additional benefit.

LTE chips that are currently used in phones such as the HTC Thunderbolt could have raised a few design-related concerns for Apple. First is with respect to the size of the chip. In the present situation after all other components have been added, LTE chips will not fit into the casing of the iPhone 4. It has to be noted that the iPhone 4 already uses a small printed circuit board that will leave little space for the LTE chip.

Accordingly, if Apple had released an affordable iPhone 5 with LTE this year, the device would most probably have been bulkier than its predecessor, which would have been a step backward that Apple clearly was not willing to take.

Apple may have disappointed people by not announcing the iPhone 5, but it most probably did so to preserve its lofty standards, instead of hastening the device to gratify critics. Having said that, Apple cannot afford to wait too long to introduce a 4G LTE version of its phone.